Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 85 and 86 (5196-97) Homilies, "Visio Pauli" [Ker 336/(337], Gneuss 642/(643]]

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Jonathan Wilcox


390. Oxford, Bodleian Library,

Junius 85 and 86 (5196-97)

Homilies, "Visio Pauli"

[Ker 336/(337], Gneuss 642/(643]]

HISTORY: This small pair of manuscripts contain what appears to be a fragmentary OE homiletic compilation in the process of creation. The separation into two volumes is post-medieval: the foliation proceeds continuously, with ff. 1-35 bound in Junius 85, ff. 36-81 bound in Junius 86, and the contents proceed across the volumes without a break. The handwriting is dated by Ker (Cat., p. 409) to the middle of the 11 c. The evidence of linguistic forms suggests a Kentish origin (see Healey 1978: 31-40), although, contra Madan et al. (1937: 983), a Kentish provenance is not hinted at by a scribble on f. 43v, 'teobald(us) ade de I richebor: in what Ker considers a hand of 12/13c, since the town ofRichborough in Kent was not so named before the 16c (as clarified by Chadbon 1993: 33-34). Healey (1978: 17-18) has suggested a possible provenance of St Augustine's, Canterbury, but the evidence for this is very tentative, in the form of two possibly relevant references in a 15c Canterbury catalog. The collection bears other clear signs of use but without clues that localize place. Another name occurs on the inside margin of f. 20v, now unreadable within the binding, but read by Ker (Cat., p. 411) as 'odo de moteroil', which Chadbon (1993: 34) suggests may be a French place-name. There are further Latin notes, including the incipit for a hymn for St Denis ('gaude prole grecias gloriet(ur) gaullia patre dyonisio exultet' [sic]) written upside down in the lower margin of ff. 20v and 21 r and in the inner margin of f. 21 r, in a hand dated by Ker (Cat., pp. 410-11) to the 12/13c. Probably the same hand occurs in the upper margin of f. 36v, which is now in Junius 86, suggesting that the material was still together in a single manuscript at that time. Other inserted scribbles in Latin occur at ff. 24r, 24v, and 44v. A misidentifying title, 'Pars psalt(er)ii g(re)ci', is written at the head of f. lr in Junius 85 in a hand considered by Ker as possibly 13c (Cat., p. 411). Healey (1978: 17-18) assumes the material was once bound with a Greek 114 390. OXFORD, BODLEIAN LIBRARY, JUNIUS 85 AND 86 (5196-97) psalter and identifies this with a possible example from St. Augustine, Canterbury. Presumably influenced by this heading is the different erroneous title 'Pars Psalterii Saxonici' at the head off. 2r in Junius 85 and legible under strike-through at the head of f. 36r at the beginning of Junius 86, both in the same 17c hand (as dated by Ker, Cat., p. 411). The repeated heading demonstrates that the manuscripts were bound separately by this time. Dating the division into two parts is possible on account of Francis Junius's transcript of part of item 6 preserved in MS Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 45, ff. 9r-l l v. Here Junius transcribes and partly edits much of the first half of item 6 (Fadda 1), taking material from ff. 29v-35v, i.e. only that part of the homily now in Junius 85. Junius's transcript ends with a note that the remainder is lacking. The transcript is titled twice, on ff. 9r and l0r, and in both titles Junius records that he is transcribing from a MS lent to him by Isaac Voss. Presumably, Junius borrowed only Junius 85, not the pair of manuscripts. Voss's pressmark 'C. 29: is recorded on the top right of f. lr in Junius 85 and 'F. 29: is on the first paper flyleaf of Junius 86. Subsequently the pair of manuscripts passed from Voss to Francis Junius (1591-1677), who was his uncle, whose account of their contents is contained in a sixteen- line note on f. lr, where he corrects the earlier headings by observing that, rather than a psalter, the collection contains homilies which he accurately characterizes as 'materiam I tractans pcenitentialem'. The pair of manuscripts went from Junius to the Bodleian Library, which acquired them in 1678 with Junius's other manuscripts. They are described in the Summary Catalogue as 5196 and 5197, as is reflected by the stickers 'S.C. 5196' and 'S.C. 5197' at the top left of each inside cover. The current Bodleian classmarks, 'MS. Junius 85' and 'MS. Junius 86', are written twice on each inside cover in pencil. 'MS. I JUNIUS I 86' is embossed on the spine of the second volume. Later marks include a small pencilled 'JW'(?) at the foot of f. 81v and '[R]H 16.7.55' and 'RH. 14.7.55' at the end of the two volumes, written in black ink at the foot of the inside end boards, presumably reflecting Bodleian inspections. [Note: At the back of the manuscript Napier (1887) reported seeing a binding leaf that contained parts of chapters 14 and 16 of the OE translation of Boethius, "Consolations of Philosophy"; it was detached from the manuscript about 1886 and was mislaid before the publication of Sedgefield's Boethius in 1899. The leaf is reported as missing in Madan's catalogue of 1937 and upon recent inquiry at the Bodleian it was reported as still missing. It is no. 337 in Ker, Cat. and no. 643 in Gneuss's Handlist. Ker dates it "s. x1 " and Gneuss "prob. s. x1 or xi med:' Kiernan (2005) uses new techologies to recreate the format of the leaf that Napier published, showing that it had improbably small script, improbably ragged line lengths, and ASM 17.7 115 an excess of subscript letters. The improbabilities lead Kiernan to suggest that the fragment may have been a fake.]

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